Friday, April 5, 2024

Drg Drsya Viveka 1 Trans/Notes


Form is the seen and the eye is the seer. As that in turn is seen, the seer is the mind. And as its thoughts are seen, the Witness is the one seer, and never the seen.


Rūpaṁ dṛśyaṁ locanaṁ dṛkt

addṛśyaṁ dṛktu mānasam,

dṛśyā dhīvṛttayas-sākṣī

dṛgeva na tu dṛśyate.

(1) रूपम् – form; दृश्यम् – (is) the seen; लोचनम् – the eye; दृक् – (is) the seer; तत् – that (eye); दृश्यम् – (is) seen; दृक् – the seer; तु – indeed; मानसम् – the mind; दृश्याः – (are) seen; धीवृत्तयः – the thoughts of mind; साक्षी – the witness; दृक् – (is) the Seer; एव – alone; न तु – never; दृश्यते – the seen

The eye is the seer, and form (and colour) the seen. That (eye) is the seen and the mind Is (its) seer. The witness alone is the Seer of thoughts in the mind and never the seen.


रूपं form दृश्यं (is) perceived लोचनं eye दृक् (is) perceiver तु तत् that दृश्यं (is) perceived मानसं mind दृक् (is) perceiver धीवृत्तय: mind’s modifications दृश्या: (are) perceived साक्षी witness दृक् एव (is) verily the perceiver तु but न (it) is not दृश्यते perceived.

The form (1) is perceived and the eye (2) is its perceiver. (3) It (eye) is perceived and the mind (4) is its perceiver. The mind with (5) its modifications is perceived and the Witness (the Self) is verily the perceiver. (6) But It (7) (the Witness) is not perceived (by any other).


Form is the seen, the eye is the seer;

that eye is the seen, and mind is its seer;

thoughts in the mind are seen by the Witness

which alone is the Seer, but can never be the seen.



In analysing the Seer-seen relationship, the following principles should be clearly understood. The Seer and the seen are different from each other. The Seer can never become the seen and the seen can never become the Seer. The Seer cannot see itself and the seen cannot see itself. One and the same thing cannot become both the Seer and the seen. The Seer is aware and the seen is inert.


The Ātman or the Innermost Self is the ultimate perceiver. If a perceiver of the Ātman is sought, the inquiry will end in what is known as a regressus ad infinitium. All entities from the gross objects to the mind are products of avidyā which itself is insentient (जड). Hence they also partake of the nature of insentiency. Therefore they are objects. The subjective character of some of these is only relative. But the Self is the ultimate Seer because no other seer is known to exist. The knowing nature of the Knower is never absent.


The whole teaching has been presented in the very first verse, very beautiful. The last part of the first verse says sākṣī dṛg eva na tu dṛśyate. So you are not a doormat. Nobody can make you a doormat because you are not a dṛśya. You are not an object much less you are a subject. You are the svarūpa of the subject. Sākṣī, dṛg eva, na tu dṛśyate. Nobody can objectify you. You are the sākṣī. That is the teaching.


In this verse, the author has introduced three observers, three illuminators: 1. sense organs, 2. mind, 3. sākṣī. 1 and 2 are relative illuminators and 3 is the absolute illuminator. Thus the two relative dṛk and the one absolute dṛk are the components of the individual. The author feels that this requires further clarification. The following 4 verses are the author’s commentary on the first verse. Each part of the first verse will be elaborated.


On Drg Drsya Viveka 1: The Seer

For every scene there is identification. Identifying with the eye is the materialist i. Identifying with the eye of the mind is the conceptual i. Beyond the mind is the real I. 

The material eye consummates in scientific inquiry. The conceptual eye incubates theories and conceives belief. But the real I self-destructs in self-awareness.

Alas, the Big Bang Theory has become the latest religion. Henceforward, real scientific exploration shall be called self-inquiry. Or Seer Seen Viveka. 


Translators / Commentators Legend

A: Aumdada

D: Dayananda

N: Nikhilananda

P: Paramarthananda

S: Sandeepany

T: Tejomayananda

These Drg Drsya Viveka translators and commentators deserve commendation: 

Nikhilananda, founder of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York. Clear, concise, and kensho-inducing at times.

Tejomayananda, head of Chinmaya Mission from 1994 to 2017. Comprehensive and noteworthy.

Dayananda, given Sannyasa in 1963 by Swami Chinmayananda & named Dayananda in 1963, founder of Arsha Vidya 1986, and spiritual Guru of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sanskrit-dominant, released post-mahasamadhi without Dayananda's brilliant editing, but there's gold in them hills.

Paramarthananda, studied under Chinmayananda, took sannyasa from Dayananda, and is devoted to both sages. PDF but prescient.

Sarvapriyananda, Minister of the Vedanta Society of New York. Youtube, storyteller, helpful.

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